Xbox is Out!

Droves of gamers came out of their holes today to line up hoping to snatch the latest gizmo, the Xbox 360 from Microsoft. The Xbox 360 is a new generation of gaming console from Microsoft capable of delivering high-definition graphics pushing the envelope in the gaming experience. What are the new features of the Xbox 360? I wrote a preview of the Xbox 360 several weeks ago. You can read it here.

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Home Project

I’m currently working on a home project which replaces the carpet in the living room with wooden laminated floors. I have no prior experience in this type of work. I have seen others do it a couple of years ago when we contracted the work for the room upstairs. Of course, doing it firsthand is a completely a different experience.

After two days, so far so good. The hardest part of the work is actually not the laying out of the wooden laminated floors, but moving the furniture, ripping off the carpet and the cushioning, removing the baseboards, nails and cleaning up the floor. Once the prep work was completed, the layout of the floors went fairly quickly.

Actually, the layout in the beginning was a bit tricky since the boards shifted quite a bit. After the third and fourth row, the wooden boards stopped shifting and the layout went fairly quickly.

A couple of tips for anyone willing to do the floor work themselves. I recommend you watched a video clip from Armstrong on how to layout wooden laminated floors. I was able to pick up a few valuable tips.

Regarding cutting the laminated wood boards, I recommend you use a wet tile saw since the wet saw reduces the amount of saw sawdust in the air. The tilesaw cuts the wood quite nicely. The water pan on the bottom of the unit collects most of the sawdust and the water can be disposed much later.

Here’s a few pics of the work so far.

Xbox 360 Countdown

It is less than 15 days to go for the release of Xbox 360 in North America. I was at BestBuy yesterday afternoon and saw an Xbox 360 demo unit with one game loaded called Battlefield 2, a first person shooter game. My first reaction was, “What incredible clarity!” Truly amazing graphics, a step up compared to the original Xbox.

The release is scheduled November 22 with a starting price of $299 for the basic Xbox 360 unit. It comes with a one wired controller, a detachable faceplate, and standard A/V cables. A souped-up version is available for $399 and comes with a 20GB hard drive, a wireless controller, a wireless headset, a limited-edition wireless Media Center remote, and HD-capable component A/V cables.

If you are interested in the hardware, the Xbox 360 is powered by an IBM PowerPC-based CPU running at 3.2GHz and 0.5GB of RAM, the 360 sports a customized ATI graphics processor capable of advanced antialiasing and shader effects. Xbox will have the processing power to deliver true 720p and 1080i wide-screen HDTV images for all of its games (by contrast, most games for the original Xbox maxed out at a DVD-level 480p).

Multichannel surround sound is also standard, and the 360 natively supports up to four wireless controllers to cut down on cable clutter. The only downside is The Xbox 360’s optical drive is a standard DVD model. It is limited to just 8.5GB of disc space. Compared this the upcoming Playstation 3 which will be using Blu-Ray drive which can store up to 25GB of DVD disc space.

Last but not least, the 360 will double as a CD/DVD player. Although an expensive one. Rushing out to get one? I’m not sure. I think I’m going to wait several months until Playstation 3 comes out, then compare the two and then decide which one to buy. In the meantime, I got an old Xbox waiting to be played. I hope the original Xbox games will come down in price now that the Xbox 360 is out. And it will, it’s just a matter of time.